'Pressure of performing getting better of Gambhir' | india | Hindustan Times
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'Pressure of performing getting better of Gambhir'

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni knows one of his trusted openers isn't having a good time, but sees no reason why Gautam Gambhir shouldn't get a longer run, given his talent and track record.

india Updated: Nov 12, 2010 02:16 IST
HT Correspondent

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni knows one of his trusted openers isn't having a good time, but sees no reason why Gautam Gambhir shouldn't get a longer run, given his talent and track record.

After a fabulous 2009 when he amassed 727 runs in five Tests at 90.87, Gambhir, who started the year with 116 and 89 against Bangladesh, has tallied just 86 in five Tests in 2010. His Test average has slipped to being fractionally below 50 after quite some time.

Gambhir has also been troubled by a knee injury, which forced him to miss games in Sri Lanka in August and the Test against Australia in Bangalore last month.

No one is pressing the panic button yet, but Gambhir's lean run can be talked about for three reasons.

His speedy opening stands with Virender Sehwag was an important reason behind India's ascent to the top of the Test rankings, a crucial tour of South Africa lies ahead and substitute opener M Vijay has done well whenever given a chance.

“Players get in and out of form. This is not the first time this has happened and not the last. Players like Gambhir set so high standards that their slumps in form get highlighted easily,” said Dhoni on Thursday.

“I think the pressure of performing is getting the better of him at the moment. Having said that, he is a good cricketer who works hard on his game and fitness.

“Let's hope for the best. As far as Vijay is concerned, he has done well. But he has to wait a bit now. Gambhir is still the best option.”

Gambhir can take heart from the fact that he gets two Tests in good batting conditions against an ordinary attack. Just what a player like him can utilise to regain confidence.